China continues to ramp up its space activities, which include a new launch complex, more powerful boosters and the construction of a large space station, as well as plans for complex robotic missions to the moon and Mars.
For example, China’s “little fly” spacecraft looped around the moonand returned to Earth Nov. 1 (Beijing time) after eight days of flight, parachuting safely down in northern China’s Inner Mongolia.
The capsule used seven kinds of thermal protection materials, returning data that will be applied to China’s Chang’e 5 robotic lunar sample return mission, which is slated to launch in 2017 from the new Wenchang Satellite Launch Center. [Greatest Moon Missions of All Time]
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